Six Military Sealift Command (MSC) ships will participate in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018 multi-national, maritime exercise in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.
MSC fleet replenishment oilers USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187) and USNS Rappahannock (T-AO 204), auxiliary dry cargo/ammunition ships USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7) and USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10) will provide logistics services including aviation fuel, bunker fuel, dry, fresh and frozen food as well as machine parts and equipment to the 46 ships participating in the exercise. MSC fleet ocean tug USNS Sioux (T-ATF 171) will provide tow support. MSC hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) will participate in the exercise highlighting the ship’s humanitarian and disaster recovery capabilities.
MSC reservists are also in Hawaii supporting RIMPAC 2018. Cargo Afloat Rig Teams (CART) will work at-sea, aboard Kaiser, Brashear and Drew functioning as rig captains, winch booth operators, signalmen and line handlers during replenishments at sea. Military Sealift Command Pacific’s Headquarters Unit, augmented by Expeditionary Port Units 114 and 115 will man the Combined Task Force 173 MSCPAC battle-watch, coordinating and scheduling logistics support.
Twenty-five nations, 46 surface ships, five submarines, 18 national land forces, more than 200 aircraft, and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial RIMPAC exercise scheduled June 27 to Aug. 2.
This year’s exercise includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.
As the world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity designed to foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s interconnected oceans. RIMPAC 2018 is the 26th exercise in the series that began in 1971.